21 Jul 1890
21 Jul 1911
  • British Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George delivered a speech at the Mansion House in which he declared that national honour was more precious than peace. The speech was interpreted in Germany as a warning that they could not impose an unreasonable settlement on France. [AC]
21 Jul 1917
  • In Russia the Provisional Government was reorganized with Alexande Kerensky assuming the post of Prime Minister. [AC]
21 Jul 1918

United Kingdom
  • Franklin Roosevelt arrived at Plymouth, England, United Kingdom aboard USS Dyer. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1921
  • After dropping a total of 63 bombs since the previous day in experimental attacks on ships, including 1,000-pound and 2,000-pound bombs, battleship Ostfriesland sank in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States, proving that capital ships could be destroyed by unopposed aircraft. [AC]
21 Jul 1933

Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1933
Augusta off Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, 21 Jul 1933
21 Jul 1936
  • El Ferrol, the main naval base in the north-west of Spain, surrendered to the Nationalists. As a result the Nationalists acquired battleship Espana, cruiser Republica, cruiser Admirante Cervera, destroyer Valesco, and two under-construction cruisers Baleares and Canarias. [Main Article | AC]
21 Jul 1937

Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1937
USS Yorktown underway, 21 Jul 1937
21 Jul 1938

  • Germany passed laws requiring Jews to carry identification cards, effective 1 Jan 1939. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1939
  • British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax wrote to British Ambassador to Poland Clifford Norton, asking him to expressed to the Polish government the British desire for Poland to refrain from acting defiantly to recent German threats. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMS Windermere was launched. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1939
XF4F-3 prototype Wildcat in flight, 21 Jul 1939
21 Jul 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck underwent an inclining test. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Hampden bombers from No. 61 and No. 144 Squadrons attacked German battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, causing no damage. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Hampden bombers from No. 61 and No. 144 Squadrons attacked German cruiser Admiral Scheer at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, causing no damage. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-30 sank British ship Ellaroy 180 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The entire crew of 16 took to lifeboats and were later rescued by Spanish trawler Felix Montenegro. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Mikio Furusho passed away. [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German aircraft attacked convoys in the English Channel. 1 British Hurricane fighter and 1 British Spitfire fighter were shot down, while the Germans lost 3 fighters and 1 Do 17 bomber. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Blenheim bombers of No. 107 Squadron RAF attacked Caen, Morlaix, and Querqueville in France. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The German Army High Command submitted a plan to Adolf Hitler for an operation in the Baltic States and the Ukraine. [Main Article | AC]
  • 3 bombers of No. 51 Squadron RAF attacked Hamm, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target. 10 bombers of No. 77 Squadron RAF and 10 bombers of No. 102 Squadron RAF attacked Kassel, Germany; the aircraft factory was the primary target. Finally, 5 bombers of No. 78 Squadron RAF attacked Soest, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union revealed the result of plebiscites in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania held on 14 Jul 1940, claiming that the citizens of the three countries approved the Soviet annexation of their countries. The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was declared. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Edvard Beneš established the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile in London, England, United Kingdom. [Main Article | TH]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt returned to Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States after a cruise in the Chesapeake Bay aboard presidential yacht Potomac. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1941
  • Hiroaki Abe was transferred out of Japanese Navy Destroyer Squadron 6. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-140 sank the 161-ton Soviet submarine M94 by torpedoes in the Baltic Sea. The survivors were rescued by M98 operating nearby off Hiiumaa Island. [AC]
  • German submarine U-109 refueled from German supply ship Thalia off Cadiz, Spain. [CPC]
  • Japan secured an agreement from the Vichy-French government to permit a virtual Japanese occupation of Indo-China. [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Orion rounded Cape Horn and entered the Atlantic Ocean. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Outside Minsk, Byelorussia, German SS troops ordered 30 Byelorussians to bury 45 Jews alive in a pit; upon meeting refusal, the SS men executed the entire group of 75 by machine gun fire. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Canadian minesweeper HMCS Guysborough was launched in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. [CPC]
  • Free French leader Charles de Gaulle met with British Minister of State in Cairo Oliver Lyttleton in Cairo, Egypt, complaining of the shortcomings in the arrangement in the Middle East where Free French troops were placed under British command. De Gaulle noted that Free France would assume direct control of troops in the theater as of noon of 24 Jul 1941. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Allied convoy "Substance" departed Gibraltar to supply Malta; it contains six transports, carrier Ark Royal, battlecruiser Renown, battleship Nelson, several cruisers, and six destroyers. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Majdanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, Poland became operational. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • 195 German Luftwaffe bombers, most of which were He 111 bombers, took off from an airfield near Smolensk, Russia to attack the Soviet capital of Moscow in multiple waves during the night; the resulting air alarms were the first to be sounded in the city. Moscow had strong anti-aircraft defences, the city was protected by 170 fighters, and the citizens were able to take shelter in the newly completed underground railway stations, but German air crews reported the presence of very few Soviet fighters after sunset. On the next day the Soviets would report the downing of 22 German bombers, but German records only showed 6 bombers failing to return. [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • Soviet troops evacuated from the positions along the Dniestr River in western Ukraine. [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Hugh Dalton informed Winston Churchill that his Special Operations Executive was now ready to support covert operations in German-occupied Europe. [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Cadmus was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Circe was laid down. [CPC]
United States
  • The keel of submarine Gunnel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, United States. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Velocity was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Tumult was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Token was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer Evans was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer John D. Henley was laid down. [CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt asked the United States Congress to modify the Selective Service Act, increasing the period of service from one year of active service to also include 30 months in reserve. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1942
  • The keel for the future USS Cod was laid down. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki supported the invasion of Buna, New Guinea. [Main Article | CPC]
  • American submarines sank three Japanese destroyers near Kiska, Aleutian Islands. [CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps 1st Base Depot established an advanced echelon at Wellington, New Zealand. [CPC]
  • After a four-hour pursuit, German submarine U-160 sank British transport Donovania 5 miles off Grand Matelot Point, Trinidad at 1029 hours, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes fired; 5 were killed, 45 survived. [Main Article | CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Zest was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-846 was laid down. [CPC]
  • Malta-based British aircraft attacked Italian transport Rosolino Pilo, which was escorted by two destroyers and two smaller vessels, after she had departed from Brindisi, Italy; they would fail to destroy the transport. [CPC]
  • Four B-24 bombers of US 11th Air Force were launched to attack Kiska, Aleutian Islands, but the attack was turned back due to weather. US Navy Task Force 8, dispatched to attack in conjunction, however, continued on, receiving additional fuel from oiler USS Guadalupe en route. [CPC]
  • German submarine U-84 damaged US Liberty Ship William Cullen Bryant of Allied convoy TAW-4J 40 miles southwest of Key West archipelago, Florida, United States at 0908 hours; all 54 aboard survived. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese submarine I-11 sank American ship Coast Farmer 90 miles south of Sydney, Australia; 1 was killed, 40 survived. [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The civilian schooner Roamar, belonging to a Colombian diplomat, was sunk by U-505 off San Andrés island in the Caribbean Sea with two deck gun shells between 1335 and 1500 hours. [CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • USS S-43 disembarked RAAF Flight Officer Cecil John Trevelyan Mason on Anir island near New Ireland to check in with coast watchers. Mason would be captured without knowledge of USS S-43's crew. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa of the Japanese 8th Fleet based at Rabaul, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago issued a request for more destroyers. [Main Article | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Tenryu provided cover for the landings at Buna, Australian Papua. [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • 2,000 Japanese Army troops, Special Naval Landing Forces troops, and laborers, along with field guns and horses, landed at Gona on the northern coast of New Guinea. 10 kilometers to the east, another group of 1,000 Japanese landed at Buna. [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • Canadian corvette HMCS Matapedia completed her refit Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada. [CPC]
  • New Zealand 6th Brigade launched an offensive south of Ruweisat Ridge near El Alamein, Egypt at 1630 hours, gaining several key positions early in the attack, but the British tanks failed to follow up as planned, thus leaving the forward units vulnerable to the counterattacks that would arrive on the next day. [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Malta
  • HMS Eagle launched 29 Spitfire fighters and 4 Swordfish torpedo bombers for Malta in Operation Inspect; 1 Spitfire fighter would be lost en route from a leaky fuel tank. [Main Article | CPC]
  • German 1st Panzer Army and 17th Army established positions west, north, and east of Rostov-on-Don, Russia. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • William Leahy officially took his position as US President Franklin Roosevelt's chief of staff. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1943
  • The German authorities in Belgrade, Yugoslavia offered a massive reward for the betrayal and capture of Yugoslav partisan leader, Tito. [Main Article | AC]
  • The keel of British frigate HMS Retalick was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-779 was laid down. [CPC]
  • German submarine U-1225 was launched. [CPC]
  • Canadian corvette HMCS The Pas collided with transport Medina while escorting Allied convoy ON 192 off the New England region of the United States; two men were killed. [CPC]
  • Destroyer escort USS Herbert C. Jones was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • Minesweeper USS Revenge was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • The keel of destroyer escort Currier was laid down. [CPC]
  • The keel of destroyer escort McClelland was laid down. [CPC]
  • Lydia Litvyak shot down a German Bf 109 fighter while flying a Yak-1b fighter. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS S-35 arrived at Attu, Aleutian Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 9 B-24 bombers of US 11th Air Force bombed Kiska, Aleutian Islands while two US Navy destroyers bombarded the Gertrude Cove area of the same island. [Main Article | CPC]
  • A PBY-5A Catalina aircraft of the VP-94 squadron of the US Navy sank German submarine U-662 with depth charges in the estuary of the Amazon River, Brazil; 44 were killed, 3 survived. [CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • A large number of US Army and US Navy aircraft attacked Japanese positions at Bairoko, New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. Despite the powerful air strikes, the Northern Landing Group's attack on Bairoko Harbor was repulsed and the Americans fell back to Enogai; the Northern Landing Group was consisted of 1st Marine Raider Regiment, 4th Raider Battalion, and 3rd Battalion of the US Marine Corps and the 148th Division of the US Army. Nearby, a very small contingent of US Army, US Navy, and US Marine Corps officers landed at Barakoma, Vella Lavella to scout the area for a possible landing site. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps squadron VMF-214 arrived at Banika Island, Russell Islands. [CPC]
  • Canadian trawler HMCS Anticosti completed her refit at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada. [Main Article | CPC]
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
  • Japanese G3M bombers attacked the US airfield at Funafuti, Gilbert Islands. [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel inspected German defenses in Greece. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Before dawn, Allied Northwest African Tactical Air Force attacked Italian ships in waters near Randazzo, Sicily, Italy. On land on this day, US 1st Infantry Division captured Alimena, US 3rd Infantry Division captured Corleone, US 45th Infantry Division captured Valledolmo, US 82nd Airborne Division captured San Margherita, US Rangers captured Castelvetrano, and Canadian 1st Division captured Leonforte. After dark, US 9th Air Force B-25 bombers attacked the Randazzo area again. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Before dawn, British Wellington bombers of the Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force attacked the airfield at Crotone and the rail marshalling yard at Naples in southern Italy. During hte day, US B-17 bombers also of the Allied Northwest African Strategic Air Force attacked the airfield at Grosseto on the western coast of central Italy. [Main Article | CPC]
Marshall Islands United States
  • USS Bluefish departed New London, Connecticut, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Wahoo departed Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States. [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1943
Bishop John Andrew Gregg of African Methodist Church in North Central United States playing with a koala bear while African-American US Army soldiers looked on, Australia, 21 Jul 1943Sicilian refugees on an ox cart, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, circa Jul 1943
21 Jul 1944
  • USS Finback arrived at Majuro, Marshall Islands, ending her ninth war patrol. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Rock detected a Japanese convoy in the Luzon Strait and attacked with four torpedoes. She recorded two detonations, but was not able to observe whether any of the ships sank. [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Guitarro departed Frementle, Australia for her second war patrol. [Main Article | CPC]
  • A military and damage control inspection party from USS Wyoming, headed by Rear Admiral D. B. Beary, boarded USS Astoria at Virginia, United States for an inspection. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was appointed Chief of the Army General Staff. [Main Article | AC]
  • Heinz Brandt died from wounds suffered during the 20 Jul 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 8 B-17 bombers of US 8th Air Force dropped propaganda leaflets over France after sundown. [CPC]
  • British frigates HMS Curzon and HMS Ekins sank German submarine U-212 with depth charges south of Brighton, England, United Kingdom; all 49 aboard were killed. [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-3009 was laid down. [CPC]
  • German submarine U-1110 was launched. [CPC]
  • Canadian tug HMCS Glenlivit was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • Canadian frigate HMCS Levis was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • Canadian frigate HMCS Stone Town was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • Destroyer escort USS Dufilho was commissioned into service. [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS John W. Weeks was commissioned into service with Commander Robert A. Theobald. Jr. in command. [CPC]
  • Brazilian corvette Camaquã was struck by a series of large waves and sank 27 miles off Recife, Brazil while escorting Allied convoy JT-18; 35 were killed. [CPC]
  • B-17 and B-24 bombers of US 15th Air Force based in Italy attacked Brüx in Czechoslovakia (Czech name "Most"), targeting the synthetic oil refinery. [CPC]
  • Claus von Stauffenberg was executed in Berlin, Germany. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 1,110 bombers of US 8th Air Force were launched from England, United Kingdom against Germany, hitting München (Munich), Saarbrücken (targeting rail marshalling yards), Oberpfeffenhofen, Walldrun (targeting rail marshalling yards), Regensburg, Stuttgart, Schweinfurt, and other locations; a total of 31 bombers and 8 escorting fighters were lost. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben was arrested by the Gestapo. [CPC]
  • USS Wasp's aircraft provided aerial cover for the invasion of Guam, Mariana Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana and US 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed near Agat on Guam, Mariana Islands; the landing was supported by US Navy Task Force 53. US Navy and US Army aircraft attacked Tinian of Mariana Islands, Eniwetok of Marshall Islands, and Truk and Yap of Caroline Islands as indirect support. Troops of the US Army 77th Infantry Division arrived in the afternoon; their landing was difficult due to the lack of LVT vehicles. A mile-deep beachhead was established at both landing sites by sundown. The Japanese attempted a counterattack during the night, which was repulsed. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Recreation facilities - 6 handball courts and one basketball court for officers; and 2 handball courts, 2 basketball courts, and one athletic field for enlisted men, turned over to station. [Main Article | DS]
  • The French Expeditionary Corps and the US VI Corps began to be withdrawn from the front lines in Italy to prepare for the invasion of Southern France. [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Alabama escorted US carriers as carrier aircraft attacked Japanese positions on Guam, Mariana Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
Philippines Russia
  • The Soviet Third Baltic Front captured Ostrov, Pskov Oblast, Russia. [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Moscow, Russia, the Soviet Union announced the establishment of the Polish Committee of National Liberation to administer areas of liberated Poland, angering the Polish government-in-exile based in Britain. [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • No. 616 Squadron RAF, equipped with Meteor Mk I jet fighters, was transferred to RAF Manston in southern England, United Kingdom. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Baltimore depart San Diego, California, United States, with destroyer USS Fanning in escort and US President Franklin Roosevelt aboard, for Adak, Aleutian Islands. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Air Group 80 flew off of USS Ticonderoga and landed in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. [Main Article | DS]
  • At Chicago, Illinois, United States, the Democratic National Convention nominated Senator Harry Truman to run as Franklin Roosevelt's vice presidential candidate in the upcoming election. [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Army transport FS-185 was commissioned into service at New Orleans, Louisiana, United States under the command of US Coast Guard Lieutenant (jg) L. C. Rickert. [CPC]
  • US Army transport FS-186 was commissioned into service at New Orleans, Louisiana, United States under the command of US Coast Guard Lieutenant F. D. Obrian. [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1944
Pennsylvania bombarding Guam with her 14-in and 5-in guns, 21 Jul 194440mm gun crew of an unidentified American cruiser watched as lighter vessels shelled a Japanese storage dump (note smoke in center), Asan Beachhead, Guam, Mariana Islands, 21 Jul 1944Battleship USS Tennessee bombarding Guam, Mariana Islands, 20 or 21 Jul 1944. Note the Measure 32, Design 1D paint scheme; only Tennessee was painted this way.Brigadier General William Bergin, Brigadier General Hayden Boatner, Major General Joseph Stilwell resting with cups of cocoa while watching a movie at Shadazup, Burma, 21 Jul 1944
See all photos dated 21 Jul 1944
21 Jul 1945
  • The Allied leadership threatened Japan with destruction if it did not surrender. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied leaders selected Nürnberg, Germany as the location for trials against accused German war criminals. [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-411 was commissioned into service. [CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Macabi reached waters near Truk, Caroline Islands as a lifeguard vessel. [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill took the salute at a parade of the 7th Armoured Division through the Charlottenburger Chaussee in Berlin, Germany. This was a great honour to the "Desert Rats" who had fought all the way from El Alamein, Egypt to the German capital. [Main Article | AC]
  • I-400 departed Maizuru, Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
  • I-401 departed Maizuru, Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
  • 12 M26 Pershing heavy tanks arrived at Okinawa, Japan. [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Sea Robin fired a torpedo at a Japanese patrol boat in the East China Sea; the torpedo missed. Later in the same day, she sank two small tankers with her deck gun. [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1945
American trucks returning part of US$500 million worth of Florentine artwork looted by Germans, Piazzo Dei Signoria, Florence, Italy, 21 Jul 1945Bernard Montgomery, Winston Churchill, Harold Alexander, and Anthony Eden at the Charlottenberger Chausce reviewing stand during the Berlin victory parade, Germany, 21 Jul 1945Brigadier General A. J. McFarland, Admiral William Leahy, and Admiral Ernest King at a meeting during the Potsdam Conference, Germay, 21 Jul 1945Major General Lauris Norstad, General Henry Arnold, and General George Marshall at a meeting during the Potsdam Conference, Germany, 21 Jul 1945
See all photos dated 21 Jul 1945
21 Jul 1946
  • Douglas Bader retired from the British Royal Air Force at the rank of group captain. [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • A prototype McDonnell FH-1 Phantom naval fighter made the first landing by an American jet aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. [AC]
21 Jul 1951
  • Captain Roy Gano was named the commanding officer of USS Saint Paul. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1956
  • Leng Peishu, flying a F-86F fighter, damaged two Chinese Communist MiG fighter; both of them would ultimately be shot down by Leng's squadron mates, thus Leng was given 1/3 victory. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1964

United States
  • USS Wasp departed Boston, Massachusetts, United States for Norfolk, Virginia, United States. [Main Article | CPC]
21 Jul 1981

Photo(s) dated 21 Jul 1981
Canadian Coast Guard shore party making the first examination of the remnants of German Weather Station Kurt on the Hutton Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada on 21 Jul 1981, 38 years after it was deployed.

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Soldiers of Japanese 13th Division crossing a tributary Han River south of Shayangzhen, Hubei, China, 6 Jun 1940

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Winston Churchill, on the RAF